What is the Tenant Fair Chance Act? | Long Island Landlord Tenant Lawyer

Individuals looking for an apartment or house rental in Nassau County or other parts of New York City have a new law to help them. But, although the law has been on the books for a few years, not all landlords are in compliance with its provisions

Its Background

The Tenant Fair Chance Act came about as the result of a class action lawsuit filed in 2006. The suit was brought against a company called First Advantage SafeRent, Inc. (FAS). The company is one of many that perform background checks on potential tenants for New York City landlords. One part of the check involves determining if the individual had been involved in any housing court cases. The lawsuit alleged that FAS provided only part of the information on individual’s court histories. Their reports did not include important information such as whether the tenant’s actions against their former landlord were found by the court to be justified. Since New York City court cases are identified only by individuals’ names, some background reports falsely stated that a prospective tenant had been involved in housing court when actually it was another individual with the same name. FAS lost the lawsuit and was required to pay $1.9 million. The Tenant Fair Chance Act was passed to help protect potential tenants from being unfairly blacklisted as undesirable renters.

Its Provisions

Under the Tenant Fair Chance Act, an owner of a rental in Nassau County and throughout New York City must inform potential tenants if they use an agency to perform background checks. The landlord must include this information on the rental application along with the agency’s full name and address. If a landlord rejects a rental applicant based on information obtained from that agency, the individual has a right to see and challenge the report.

Its Application

Tenant Background Search is a Texas-based firm that handles the screening process for many New York City landlords. This organization recently urged its clients to ensure that they are in compliance with the Tenant Fair Chance Act. Failing to provide the required information opens landlords up to serious legal action. In actuality, the new law has positive effects for both tenants and landlords. Tenants can defend themselves against unjustified blacklisting. Landlords can rent to good tenants who might otherwise have been mistakenly disqualified.

An experienced landlord tenant lawyer may be necessary at several points along the process of rental in Nassau County. Landlords should have a qualified attorney review their paperwork and procedures to make sure that they are compliance with the law. Individuals who have encountered a landlord that failed to follow the provisions of the law should seek counsel as to legal action that might be necessary. Potential tenants who were wrongly rejected definitely need legal help to challenge the screening company and clear their good name. If you find yourself in any of these situations, contact the law office of David Witkon today for a free consultation.

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Is Your Landlord Following the Law?

Trust is hard to come by these days. For those of us that are currently renting or who want to start renting, we want to be able to confidently believe that the landlord is always right. We automatically assume that the landlord should have a better understanding of leasing and renting laws than we do. So we sign all hope over to them and in return we expect a decent and respectful landlord tenant relationship. Some of us unfortunately find when it comes to landlord and tenant issues, the landlord may be doing some things illegally-deliberately or even unintentionally. How can you make sure that your landlord is following the law?

In New York State, renting is incredibly common, especially in the boroughs and City of New York. Where renting is occurring, so is discrimination and unfair housing practices. Listed below are a few of the most common ways in which landlords illegally take advantage of the landlord-tenant relationship.


Just like Employment discrimination works, Housing Discrimination laws are based on the same rules. Racial, gender, and sexual discrimination is completely illegal. If your landlord asks you any questions about your orientation, immigration status, mental health or rehabilitation status, he may be pushing the privacy limit. Landlords are only allowed to collect information in regards to the tenant’s financial condition to ensure that the rent will be paid. Believe it or not, even asking about family or children may be crossing the line—The lines get blurry and that is when a lawyer would probably be best to contact if a problem arises.

Illegal Evictions

In New York, especially Long Island, illegal evictions are all too common. The major rule when it comes to eviction in NY is that you must evict within ninety days. However, there are certain exceptions to that rule in which the landlord gets the upper hand. For example, if you have illegal substances or paraphernalia in your apartment, your landlord may have the right to get you out of there sooner. But when it has to do with non-payment situations, state and federal law pursue a long drawn out process which could take months before a tenant can be evicted.


If you are evicted and have left the apartment while the lease is still in effect, you are allowed to get your property. The landlord cannot refuse you or change the locks. There are stern laws which protect your right to collect your belongings when you move out.

If you feel you are facing or have faced a situation involving housing discrimination, illegal eviction, or even theft by your landlord, call the Law Offices of David Witkon today.